A leading licensing expert is setting out a 12-point manifesto to help develop vibrant and sustainable night-time economies in towns and cities at a conference in Brighton.
Barrister and author Philip Kolvin, who has represented Brighton and Hove City Council on a number of occasions, is speaking about his vision today (Wednesday 18 May).
The food and drink trade website Propel Info said that Mr Kolvin – the author of Licensed Premises: Law, Practice and Policy – was sharing his vision at the Music Cities Convention in Brighton.
Propel said: “The night-time economy is worth £66 billion to the UK economy and provides jobs for 1.3 million people but Kolvin said its benefits go far wider.
Mr Kolvin said: “The leisure economy is a big part of the reason why people move to cities, including workers and students.
“It is fundamental to the tourist draw of the UK. It is the inspiration and foundation for much of our creative industries – fashion, music, media and performance.
“It is the driver for supply chains of vital importance to local economies, including food and beverage, transportation, retail and security.
“As shopping progressively moves online, it is fundamental to the vitality and viability of our high streets.
“Without it, many of our city centre streets would be lonely and dangerous places at night. Without it, many streets would enter spirals of decline.
“Most importantly, the leisure economy is where, after the stresses of ever-longer working days, we meet, eat, socialise, drink, dance, learn, laugh, fall in love, celebrate and behave as we were born to behave, as social animals.
“But night-time economies are like gardens. They need to be planned and tended. Otherwise they may grow wild or even decay.
“This manifesto lays down some simple messages for the development of vibrant, sustainable night-time economies.”
The manifesto includes every town and city having a vision for its night-time economy, an identified night-time champion and towns and cities being designed, so far as possible, to enhance the experience of users of the night-time economy.
Night-time operators will promote and support voluntary local schemes raising standards of operation and protection, while national and local licensing policies shall recognise the value of the night-time economy.
The manifesto also pledges that the industry will participate in a set of qualifications forming a path of career development for all those working in, regulating or otherwise involved in the night-time economy.
Mr Kolvin added: “Amid the constant debate about whether the leisure economy is over or under-regulated, it is easy to forget what a vibrant and important leisure culture we have, and how important it is that we cherish and foster it.
“The manifesto is intended to provoke a discussion about the key principles for doing so.”